TORONTO, Canada - Defending champion Simona Halep and No.5 seed Elina Svitolina have grabbed the last two semifinals spots at the Rogers Cup, coming back victorious after yesterday’s rain delays.
Halep made her way into the semifinals over Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, edging through in a tough first set before breezing in the second, 6-4, 6-2.
“Yesterday was really tough, waiting like six or seven hours here on site so I was a little bit tired,” Halep explained in her on-court interview. “But I came here today and I got ready before this match and I’m really proud that I could play so well.
“Caroline is not an easy opponent, so I tried everything I could to win today because I really wanted to play semifinals again today here in Canada.”
Halep broke Garcia three times in their hour and 10 minutes clash. But it’ll be a quick turnaround for the Romanian, who’ll be back on court later today to play her semifinal against Elina Svitolina.
“It’s not going to be easy, at this level, to play two matches in the same day. But I think I’m ready, I feel strong enough in my legs. It’s not going to be easy; I’ll be playing against a very good opponent. I just want to give my best, enjoy the match, and try to fight.”
Svitolina hit the reset button after dropping the first set to Garbiñe Muguruza yesterday, coming back to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 over the reigning Wimbledon champion to reach the Rogers Cup semifinals for the first time.
Both players were very aggressive, with 10 breaks of serve between the two in both of today’s sets. But it was Svitolina who came out with the advantage both times as Muguruza’s efforts were undone by her unforced errors.
“It was a big relief to hold serve in the third set,” Svitolina said in her post-match interview. “It was really hard to serve with the wind, and I think both of us were returning very aggressive and going for the shots.
“I was just trying to play my game and I was very happy to win. I know Garbiñe is a big fighter and she plays until the last ball. I was going for the next one, and then the next one again.”
Like Halep, Svitolina faces the daunting task of preparing for a semifinal later today - but the Ukrainian has a different item on her post-match to-do list.
“First I need to go to the hotel and get a new dress!” she laughed. “I didn’t take a second one with me! I didn’t expect I was going to win today, actually. I was a set down, so I just thought ‘well if I win I’ll just go to the hotel.’”